Path –Goal TheoryDeveloped by Robert HouseA theory which describes: How leaders can motivate their followers to achieve group and organizational goals and the kinds of behaviors leaders can engage into motivate followers.
Path-Goal Theory: Brief DescriptionIt is about how leaders motivate followers to accomplish designated goalsThe stated goal of leadership is to enhance employee performance and employee satisfaction by focusing on employee motivationEmphasizes the relationship between the leader’s style and characteristics of the followers and the work settingThe leader must use a style that best meets the followers motivational needs
Guidelines for Path-Goal TheoryDetermine what outcomes subordinates are trying to obtain in the workplaceReward subordinates for performing at a high level or achieving their work goals by giving them desired outcomesMake sure subordinates believe that they can obtain their work goals and perform at a high level
Leadership BehaviorsDirective leadershipSupportive LeadershipParticipative LeadershipAchievement-Oriented LeadershipNote: House assumes leaders are flexible, can display any behaviors depending on the situations
Subordinate CharacteristicsNeed for affiliation: prefer supportive leadershipPreferences for structure: prefer directive leadershipDesires of control: prefer participative leadershipSelf-perceived level of task ability: prefer achievement orientated leadership
Path-Goal TheoryProsHelps understand how leader behavior effects subordinates satisfaction and work performanceDeals directly with motivation – one of the only theories to address thisProvides a very practical model – make a clear path and follow it
Path-Goal TheoryConsThis is a very complex theory that incorporates many aspects of leadershipResearch only partially supports the theoryFails to explain adequately the relationship between leader behavior and subordinate motivationTreats leadership as a one way street, places a majority of the responsibility on the leader